North Carolina Governor Cooper Statement on Victory in Seismic Testing Permit Withdrawal

Raleigh, NC (STL.News) Governor Roy Cooper today offered the following comment in response to WesternGeco’s decision to withdraw its permit application for seismic testing Thursday.  The withdrawal follow’s North Carolina’s fight to stop damaging seismic testing at the coast.

Cooper continues to fight the testing and last month appealed a federal decision allowing seismic airgun blasting that would pave the way for offshore drilling.  Since WesternGeco has withdrawn its permit application, this lawsuit will now address the four other companies that have applied for permits.

“While this is great news for the protection of our environment and economy in Eastern North Carolina, we have more to do to protect our coast,” Cooper said.  “I stand with local leaders, families and businesses up and down our coast in continuing to fight the expansion of dirty and dangerous offshore oil and gas development.  This fight is far from over, and our stance is clear — not off our coast, not today and not tomorrow.”

The news of the company’s withdrawal comes days after the Trump administration’s assertion that Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina will be protected from offshore drilling, and the acknowledgement that drilling could harm states’ economies and the environment.  Despite the science that shows little or no resources worth drilling for in North Carolina waters, the same protections have not been extended to North Carolina.  Governor Cooper has asked the Trump Administration and Congress repeatedly to exempt North Carolina from any offshore oil and gas exploration and drilling.

Read letters from Governor Cooper here and here.

“North Carolina is a national leader in its pursuit of clean energy solutions and gambling with our coastal economy and natural resources to pursue fossil fuel extraction would take the state backwards,” said Secretary Michael S. Regan of the N.C. Department of Environmental Quality  “DEQ stands firmly with the coastal communities in the determination that seismic testing followed by offshore drilling is not consistent with our responsibility to protect our coastal resources and economy.”

Forty-five communities in the state have adopted formal resolutions opposing the expansion of drilling.

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